Wheaton: MoCo Town a Convenient, Colorful Place to Call Home
According to the 2006-08 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimate, 58,342 people reside in Wheaton, Md. (This is combined with neighboring Glenmont.) Located in Montgomery County, Wheaton is only about three miles from the I-495 Capital Beltway and 12 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., so commuting by car to the city is a snap. Even better for the apartment renter who commutes, Wheaton has its own Metro stop on the Red Line (though, technically, it has a Silver Spring address).
But maybe you already work here and won’t have to Metro or drive. Wheaton has more than a few things going for it. The town’s European-settler roots go all the way back to the late 1600s, and for a long time in the 1800s the town was known as Mitchell’s Crossroads, named after a local tavern owned by Richard T. Mitchell. It’s currently named after Union Gen. Frank Wheaton, a Civil War hero.
Today, Wheaton likes to brag about its walkability. To that end, the burg features Walkabout Wheaton, a series of five walking trails that traverse the town, helping you get in shape while taking in the area.
Wheaton has a lot of shopping options, from stand-alone stores like Best Buy to the Wheaton shopping mall, which is anchored by Macy’s, Target and JCPenney. Both Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and Giant have a home in Wheaton, too.
One of the better attractions in town would have to be Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park. There are two conservatories, a horticulture reference library located in the Visitor’s Center, and scads of various flowers and plants. There are also exhibits. Admission is free, and you can even get married here.
Another attraction in town is the Wheaton Regional Library. This library features an aquarium and a cool, metal-and-glass structure by Julio Teich called “Exploring Machine.” Wheaton Regional also features the Health Information Center, which helps keep you up to date on health and wellness topics, and Laptop Lane (I don’t care how stupid it sounds, that’s what it’s called. Not everyone is hip like you.), where laptop users can take advantage of tables, power strips and Wi-Fi. The library has a decent list of programs and events as well.
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